One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to lifelong learning across the EMEA region 

03 December 2021

Our Senior Consultant Claudia Monteiro digests how employers and learners in the EMEA region - particularly in the UK and in Germany - are looking at lifelong learning.


Reskilling and upskilling are something that employers and employees can agree on, but the way they go about it and the role of business schools in delivering lifelong learning varies across the EMEA region. 

Employers see lifelong learning as key to the strategy of their organisations, according to ‘The future of lifelong and executive education’ report, published by CarringtonCrisp and LinkedIn.  

However, in Germany it’s business schools that are more likely to be seen as key to delivery of lifelong learning. In the UK only 27% of employers use business schools for ongoing development, rising to 38% in Germany.  

The report paints a picture of a market in Germany that places higher value on university programmes than it does in the offer coming from new learning providers. Whereas more than half (54%) of employees agree that the growing provision of learning and development content on platforms outside higher education makes them question the value of formal university programmes, this falls to 44% among German respondents. 

It’s UK employers that seem to really embrace the new era of online study for lifelong learning; 84% of those surveyed state their organisation will, or already does, recognise qualifications gained online in the same way of those completed in a traditional setting.  A further 80% agree that short bursts of learning, delivered flexibly and providing microcredentials are valuable in meeting their development needs. In Germany a different picture emerges, with just 61% favouring short bursts of learning. Across the EMEA region, 13% of employers have already used microcredentials in the past two years.  

UK learners and employers seem aligned when it comes to this new era of learning where personalisation and flexibility are turning into real currency. The degree is no longer the end of the journey, but often the beginning of a lifelong experience. Individuals want employers to embrace a wider notion of learning; 72% of UK respondents believe employers need to recognise informal learning as well as formal qualifications when making hiring decisions, a number that falls to 51% among Germans (and with the average across EMEA sitting at 65%). 

Learning and development is a marketplace undergoing rapid growth, and the shift online is here to stay. Contrast Coursera, which added 5 million new learners to its platform in just one quarter of 2020, with MBA applications worldwide that reported a 0.2% decline according to GMAC. 

There’s an opportunity for business schools to make the most of this shift in the learning experience, leveraging content, pedagogy and the brand recognition they enjoy from alumni. Those that rethink delivery and format are more likely to meet learners and employers’ needs, but they need to do so with speed and agility.  


Find out more about how business schools will change, download a free copy of ‘The future of lifelong and executive education’ global report on our website and if you would like a copy of the EMEA report, just drop us a line. 



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